Community social

The Cove Journal by JoDee Samuelson

What are you bringing to the Social? I think I’ll make rhubarb custard pie. We always need pies. You? Rhubarb cookies; I found a good recipe on Pinterest.

The hostess of the Rhubarb Social planning meeting passes around tea and a plate of “Swedish brownies” that are not brown at all but white and almond-flavored. What about tablecloths? We threw away the clear plastic covers, but our white tablecloths are too good to use without something over them. Who will be the greeter at the door? Pour the tea and coffee? Clean the tables? Do the dishes?

What about flowers by the door? Apple blossoms would be lovely… but apple blossoms might be gone by next week. Honeysuckle branches? Perfect. We’ll need small bouquets for the tables too. What are our choices?

Crocuses have come and gone, also elderflowers, tulips, primroses and forsythia. Forget-me-nots would be good—every nook and cranny is filled with them—but they’re on their way out. Same with violets and ground phlox. Too soon for daylilies and phlox. Johnny-jump-ups would work, or even Creeping Charlie. How about Siberian irises, lupins, lilacs, comfrey or columbine… or rhubarb blossoms? Of course! The school will look beautiful.

Discussions wander off into every direction and we have to be repeatedly pulled back to the topic at hand. Are we finished then? Everything under control? Seems to be. Okay, see you Monday. Will you turn on the fridge? Of course.

We’ve spent all year waiting for this. The Rhubarb Social! The Strawberry Social! Living outdoors. Cooking over a fire. Wearing only one layer of clothes. Oh there are mosquitos and sometimes more rain than we’d want, but it’s summer, lovely summer, and destiny had brought us to this beautiful island.

The Rhubarb Social in the Cove is such a happy event because we’re celebrating the completion of our New Foundation Project. Our 150-year-old one-room schoolhouse/community centre was built atop a 150-year-old sandstone foundation; now it rests on cement. Clean-up is over! Pictures are back on the wall, chairs and tables are washed, the water is tested, the inspector has come and gone, and the Woman’s Institute (I’m a member) is holding a Rhubarb Social next week.

If you’re a visitor and you want a taste of the Island, go to a Social. “What do people do at a Social?” You stand in line, chat with the people next to you; buy a ticket and go inside, chat with the people next to you; eat delicious lovingly prepared local specialties, and chat with the people next to you. Socials are very social. Suggested topics of discussion: the weather, where you’re from, people you know in common, other places you’ve been, electric cars, grandchildren. You’ll figure it out.

If you live here and want to feel part of your community, join the planning committee for a Social and eat Swedish brownies together. On the day of the event wash dishes… and chat with the person next to you.

Okay, no time to dawdle. Those pies won’t make themselves. Happy Summer!

Born and raised on the Canadian prairies, filmmaker and artist JoDee Samuelson has lived on the beautiful south shore of Prince Edward Island for the past thirty years.JoDee always loved drawing and was encouraged in all her creative pursuits by her mother, who was a commercial artist before marrying a Swedish minister. JoDee’s interest in filmmaking began when she took part in an animation workshop at the Island Media Arts Co-op in 1989. Her animated films have been shown at festivals around the world, winning numerous awards for the Island filmmaker.